Bald Cypress Knees in Lawn

#1
I have seven bald cypress growing in my lawn. They have gotten old enough to put up knees. I have been just raising my lawn tractor deck and slowly letting the deck down to allow the mower blades to shave off the top of the knees. Over the winter the knees grew substantially and proliferated. What is the best way to rid the grass of these hidden hazards for the mower deck? Is it ok to just chop them out with an axe? I have dozens of of knees popping up at some distance from the trees.
 

JeffGu

Well-Known Member
#3
There's a reason they don't plant cypress trees on putting greens at the golf course.
Also, there are some very good reasons why you should not use a lawn mower for a stump grinder.

I'm afraid I can't be of any help, either. Although I have a bald cypress tree on my property at the shop, I value the tree a hell of a lot more than I do the grass, and can't in good conscience suggest doing anything detrimental to the trees just to make mowing grass easier. A healthy bald cypress is a thing of beauty. A lawn is just another patch of weeds with a good haircut. A gazillion-billion of them everywhere you look.
 

TimBr

Well-Known Member
#6
I have seven bald cypress growing in my lawn. They have gotten old enough to put up knees. I have been just raising my lawn tractor deck and slowly letting the deck down to allow the mower blades to shave off the top of the knees. Over the winter the knees grew substantially and proliferated. What is the best way to rid the grass of these hidden hazards for the mower deck? Is it ok to just chop them out with an axe? I have dozens of of knees popping up at some distance from the trees.
Welcome to the TreeBuzz forum, Jim Wyatt! There's a lot of veteran arborists here that have already given their terrific opinions. I just wanted to help welcome you to the forum. Best of luck.

Tim
 
#7
I thought I would get some cogent and professional advice on this forum. Instead I got ridiculous blather. I planted the cypress because my wife wanted them (Florida native). I never thought of the knees until they started popping up after about 15 years. Letting the knees grow or mulching them is not an option. Tim, you can contact me as I cannot reply to your webmaster email.
 

swingdude

De' Island Buzzer
#10
JimWyatt just don't know what you expected from passionate tree folk...when it comes to trees vs lawns you will get no sympathy here for a silly lawn...none ...those knees are part of the tree and hence serve a purpose....if you don't like what the trees are doing to your lawn....remove them and plant a different native species....but please don't mutilate the trees by trying to remove the knees..my bet is they will produce more to compensate....
 

tc262

Well-Known Member
#12
I thought I would get some cogent and professional advice on this forum. Instead I got ridiculous blather. I planted the cypress because my wife wanted them (Florida native). I never thought of the knees until they started popping up after about 15 years. Letting the knees grow or mulching them is not an option. Tim, you can contact me as I cannot reply to your webmaster email.
If you want professional advice call a certified arborist and ask to have a consultation. It won't come with any blather, it won't be free, and they will say basically what was said here! If you want a healthy tree get rid of the lawn and mulch the area.
 

JeffGu

Well-Known Member
#13
Trees aren't animals. Their responses to injury are different... they lean heavily toward over compensation. Cut a branch off, it sprouts not one to replace it, but a half dozen or more. Cut its roots and you get a similar reaction. Chopping at them with an axe and a lawn mower isn't going to have the effect you're looking for. Neither is digging down and trying to cut them out of there. They're not like a finger that gets gangrene and is amputated, never to grow back... chopping them out will more than likely result in more of them, later on, or you'll do so much damage that the trees begin to die off.

Unfortunately, you really can't have it both ways... if you want part of the trees to go away, you are likely better off to make all of them go away and try something that, as @swingdude said, is native to the area and doesn't produce surface roots or other growth anomolies. Only you can decide which has more value to you, the trees or a nice, flat patch of Kentucky Blue Grass sitting out in the hot sun.
 

swingdude

De' Island Buzzer
#14
Jeff, I could not have said it better.....that is a firm respectable answer...it really is a matter of what is more important...there will not be the best of both world happening here.....nope
 
#15
Trees aren't animals. Their responses to injury are different... they lean heavily toward over compensation. Cut a branch off, it sprouts not one to replace it, but a half dozen or more. Cut its roots and you get a similar reaction. Chopping at them with an axe and a lawn mower isn't going to have the effect you're looking for. Neither is digging down and trying to cut them out of there. They're not like a finger that gets gangrene and is amputated, never to grow back... chopping them out will more than likely result in more of them, later on, or you'll do so much damage that the trees begin to die off.

Unfortunately, you really can't have it both ways... if you want part of the trees to go away, you are likely better off to make all of them go away and try something that, as @swingdude said, is native to the area and doesn't produce surface roots or other growth anomolies. Only you can decide which has more value to you, the trees or a nice, flat patch of Kentucky Blue Grass sitting out in the hot sun.
I guess I could use the cypress lumber. BTW Cypress are native to Virginia. Unfortunately cypress, when cut down, produce multiple suckers. I usually deal with that with an unwanted tree by painting the stump or stub with a potent herbicide, Roundup or other such brush killer, full strength. Quite effective. I totally resent the high horse attitude of the forum members. I in my years have planted and nurtured tens of thousands of trees, over 70,000 in two years when I was in high school. I had a neighbor who brought in a certified arborist to consult about a storm damaged tree and gave him a mis-identification of the tree species and questionable advice. You guys have charlatans in your ranks. I am outta here. Thanks for your time.
 

swingdude

De' Island Buzzer
#17
Whoa horsey....70000 trees while in high school....hmmmm...if I was a gambling man....I would bet NOT.....and we are on a high horse....the truth is sometimes not what folks a looking for...ok now I will say it like I want to.....FUCK grass....
 
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